J D Salinger was the man who wrote the famous The Catcher in the Rye, and many other stories. His stories continue to be read to this day. But once you have read a couple of his stories, you wonder, why did write these stories, what was his plan for these stories, why the constant negatives were there endings that were very negative? We have Holden who is committed to a mental hospital after his spiral downward, we also have Eloise who is unhappy in her marriage and pines for a man that is dead, which leads to her changing and not taking well care of her daughter. We also have Seymour Glass who commits suicide after accusing a woman of staring at his feet.
One thing in common with all these characters is their mental instability from Seymour, who probably has PTSD, Eloise who is a little unstable but more depressed with a drink and goes from topic to topic, to Holden, who is depressed and very unstable as shown by his constant spending and odd behavior. This all makes me wonder, did J D Salinger want to make people more aware of mental health problems, was he mentally unstable or know someone who was mentally unstable?
Another thing that all these characters have in common is the societal pressures and what they make of them. Eloise was told by society if she married and had a child that she would be happy and have nothing to worry about, that she would forget about Walt. But for Eloise, that does not happen, she is unhappy in her marriage with a man that she states she married because he told her he liked Jane Austen which she later finds to be untrue as he has never read Jane Austen, her marriage and perfection is a lie as it was built up on a lie. She has a child who she can barely stand and she doesn’t treat well. Eloise wants to know what she has done wrong to deserve this of society. Holden is messed up after Allie’s death as he can accept it and is hit with many other problems, some societal as he is failing school and going against his parents wishes. He wants to keep the innocence, yet he is unable to no matter how hard he tries. Seymour is having to deal with the pressure of returning to society after fighting in the war and having PTSD. He is unhappy and wants someone to care for him, yet no one does, they all care to much about their materialistic objects and societal standing more than their family’s pain and suffering. Seymour feels so alone that he takes his life like the bananafish, when he is seemingly alone, standing, and others just walk around him not noticing his pain.
All of these stories are odd and we may never know what J D Salinger was going with them fully from his perspective, yet his stories have given a voice to those who are like his characters, hurt by society and others.
NOTE: This is all my conjectures and the stories belong to J D Salinger.
- Nocardia cyriacigeorgica Brain and Lung Abscesses in 77-Year-Old Man With Diabetes
- A Video Message on Blood Donation
- The Need for Plasma
- Ghassan Kanfani: Biography Notes and Sources with In Class Notes
- “The Catcher in the Rye”: Global Issues, Connections to 3 Areas of Exploration and the Seven Concepts, Additional Future Learner Profile